New Zealand has always ‘punched above its weight’ when it comes to sailing. Considering that the country only has 4 million people, the success of NZ in sailing is remarkable. While the main game is still Rugby, sailing has a special place in the sporting life of New Zealand.
But having such a small domestic market makes things tough if you want to compete on the world stage – especially in a sport as expensive as sailing. Grant Dalton, head of Emirates Team New Zealand then needs to look outside of NZ to find sponsorship budgets for the team’s upcoming projects.
The lack of certainty about financial backing makes it hard to plan campaigns. It seems that the money will determine if the team go racing in the Volvo Ocean Race or the Audi Med Cup, not the team.
In an artilce in the New Zealand Herald over the weekend, Dalton said that whether or not the team would consider the Volvo Race would depend on money.
He is quoted as saying:
“Money first, money second, and money third. If it was to happen, we would have to have two groups. Emirates Team New Zealand would continue its focus as an America’s Cup team but that doesn’t preclude us from being involved in the Volvo.”
However, time is short – it is understood a New Zealand entry and a boat have to be confirmed by December 18 – hence Dalton’s shopping trip overseas looking for sponsors and backers.
However, even if the Volvo bid doesn’t come off, the Louis Vuitton offers an exciting future, as does Emirates Team NZ’s continued involvement in the Med Cup and the TP52 yachts.
“I don’t think any of us quite realised how valuable the Med Cup would be,” said Dalton. “It helped develop the team and combinations and raised our profile and that of our sponsors, particularly in Europe.”
The full article can be read here…